Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Yule Fund Stolen McIntosh Thief Takes Party Cash

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Yule Fund Stolen McIntosh Thief Takes Party Cash

Article excerpt

DARIEN -- A Grinch-like thief smashed through two plasterboard

walls during a weekend burglary at the McIntosh County

Courthouse, then fled with money paid by county employees for

their annual Christmas party.

The break-in -- the second of its kind this year inside the

courthouse -- occurred at the County Commissioners' Office on

the second floor. It was discovered Saturday by an employee who

came to the courthouse to get some Christmas wrapping paper she

had left in another office, courthouse workers said.

County Commission Chairman David Earl Lane yesterday said $70

to $100 in cash was stolen. He estimated damage to office walls

totaled at least $500.

No county records or commission documents were stolen or

damaged, Lane said.

"The burglar caused more damage and aggravation than what he

got in the break-in," Lane said.

Lane said normally no money -- not even petty cash -- is kept

in the commission office. But this was a special occasion.

"We have a Christmas dinner every year for the courthouse

employees, who can bring their spouses too. It's just a little

get-together to share the spirit of the holidays," Lane said.

The money had been kept in an envelope inside a desk that is

secured behind two locked doors at the office, Lane said.

Effie Young, a clerk's assistant in the office, said the Dec.

15 party will go on as scheduled.

"We won't let something like this spoil it for people," she

said.

The break-in, which is under investigation by the McIntosh

County Sheriff's Department, apparently occurred sometime late

Friday, county officials said.

"It looks like the thief probably hid in the courthouse Friday,

got locked inside when it closed for the weekend, then broke

into the office and let himself out of the building," Lane said.

County employees said it would be difficult for someone to

break into the courthouse from the outside because it is

sandwiched between the sheriff's department/county jail and the

Darien Police Department. …

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